Maintaining Ellis County as a safe community is not just up to emergency managers and first responders. Citizens are the greatest resource to a community’s ability to prevent, prepare for, respond to, and bounce back from disasters. The Office of Emergency Management has many recommendations on how things you can do to get involved in the process.
Without trained and organized volunteers government cannot properly respond to or recover from the impacts of large disasters. The Ellis County Office of Emergency Management takes pride in the strong sense of community that local volunteers promote within the community. There are several ways that you can get involved as a volunteer.
Private, Non-Profit & Faith-Based Organizations
Many private, non-profit, and faith-based organizations are active in helping the community to respond and recover from disasters. Organizations such as the following provide services that are essential to emergency managers and first responders:
The American Red Cross
Community Emergency Response Teams
Local-Faith Based organizations
Local Food Banks
Texas Baptist Men
These organizations provide feeding, sheltering, donations management, and other services to assist the community in emergency situations.
If you are interested in taking courses either online or in the classroom there are a variety of opportunities available. Receiving training to become more prepared for a disaster can be beneficial to ensure that you as an individual, business, or family are ready for an emergency. Click the link below to see the training classes offered by the OEM:
The local chapter of the American Red Cross provides training in CPR, First Aid, and Preventing Communicable Diseases amongst a number of other courses. There are also a number of online courses offered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Many of these courses are eligible to be used as college credit. Courses include subjects such as incident management, incident command, and much other valuable training.
When an actual emergency occurs, it’s time to take action. Be prepared to assess the situation at hand and use your common sense to take care of yourself and your loved ones. Training to use emergency supplies around the house is a great way to stay prepared for this. Be sure that you are able to use a fire extinguisher properly, turn off your utilities, and how to shelter in place within your home.
Working with neighbors can save lives and property. Meet with your neighbors to plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster until help arrives. If you’re a member of a neighborhood organization, such as a home association or crime watch group, introduce disaster preparedness as a new activity. Know your neighbors’ special skills (e.g, medical, technical) and consider how you could help neighbors who have special needs, such as disabled persons and seniors. Make plans for child care in case parents can’t get home.